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What Is Depression?

What is depression?

Depression is the most common mental disorder, affecting around 20% of adults in the UK.

It is defined as a low mood that lasts a long time and affects your day to day life. As with many mental illnesses, depression exists on a spectrum.

Mild depression may not stop you from living a normal life, but it will make things seem less worthwhile and make it harder to stay motivated. On the other side of the spectrum, depression can make the sufferers feel suicidal.

Symptoms of depression

Symptoms of depression include: 

  • Feelings of guilt
  • Sadness
  • Irritability
  • Low self-esteem
  • Feeling tearful
  • Finding it difficult to make decisions

There are also physical symptoms, which include:

  • Changes in appetite
  • Loss of libido
  • Constipation
  • Disturbed sleep

Depression has many causes, which can influence the treatment that is most appropriate.

Causes of depression

Depression has many different causes. While it is commonly brought by a chemical imbalance in the brain, other causes include:

  • Stressful life events
  • Some medication
  • Hormonal issues
  • Genetics

Also, there are billions of chemical reactions that define how people perceive things and their mood. Depression is a very complex condition, which is why what works for one person may not work for another.

Our resident pharmacist Kasim shares his advice on dealing with stressful times in our lives.

Types of depression

There are many different conditions that come under the umbrella of depression. THe mains are:

  • Chronic depression
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder
  • Postpartum depression
  • Dysthymia

Some are connected to external factors, such as Seasonal Affective Disorder, while others are tied to life events and hormonal changes, like postpartum depression.

Helping depression

As depression is worsened by lack of sleep, you may want to try a sleep remedy such as Nytol. Restoring natural sleep can help alleviate symptoms.

Vitamins and supplements can help the symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder. This can be linked to a lack of Vitamin D, so adding this to your diet will help.

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